Trisha Yearwood On 25 Years as a Grand Ole Opry Member: ‘It Means So Much’

Trisha Yearwood celebrated the 25th anniversary of becoming a Grand Ole Opry member on March 13, with a star-studded female lineup, including Terri Clark, Pam Tillis and Suzy Boggus. It was an appropriate celebration for Yearwood, who revealed ahead of her performance that Reba McEntire sent flowers and Barbara Mandrell sent a congratulatory text. Yearwood has spent the last quarter-century being an outspoken advocate for the Grand Ole Opry, and all that it entails, making the entire night especially meaningful for Yearwood.

“Porter Wagoner was my cheerleader,” Yearwood said in a press conference before taking the stage. “And I really believe that I became an Opry member because he kept saying, ‘We gotta get Trisha Yearwood in here.’ It’s really kind of overwhelming … It means so much, and I want to do well.”

By her own admission, the 59-year-old can’t believe it’s been 25 years since Wagoner officially inducted her as an Opry member.

“It just goes so fast,” Yearwood said. “When I think about somebody else being in the Opry for 25 years, that seems like such a huge thing to me. When I think about myself, I’m like, ‘How did this go so fast?’ I’ve said this many times: this, more than any other award, or any other honor, this is a family. The criteria is not easy to define. It really is just the powers that be have to decide that you don’t necesarily sing the exact same brand of country that the people who came before you did, but you have to understand what came before, and have a love and appreciation for what came before.”

Yearwood counts herself fortunate that she was invited to become a member at a time when her musical influences, while deeply rooted in country music, ran the gamut beyond what traditional country music was at the time.

“That is the one thing about Porter that I loved. I grew up on Loretta [Lynn] and Tammy [Wynette], but I also grew up on Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris,” Yearwood reflected “They were like, ‘What you do is good. It’s not exactly what I do, but you get it, and we want to bring you in.’ At least that’s how I took it, and that’s the ultimate compliment. That’s why it means so much to me. I can’t think of another organization or another award — I can’t think of anything that’s like being a member of the Grand Ole Opry. There just isn’t anything like it.”

Yearwood is working on a new album, which will for the first time include songs that she helped write. She also just opened her Friends in Low Places Bar and Honky Tonk with her husband, Garth Brooks.

Find all of Yearwood’s music and upcoming shows at

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry / Chris Hollo